Thursday, April 28, 2011

Perfect Days

 Today was one of them.

 Originally, it started out to be a perfect day, because Sevendust (who is my favorite band ever) was playing in the area (with Avenged Sevenfold and 3 Days Grace) and they were doing a "Top Secret Show" through our local rock station, which is a pretty cool thing. I was rather excited.

 So, my parents were going to watch the kids for us, and we were going to head up the the location for the show. Unfortunately, while I was picking Meg up from school, I got a text message saying that the show was cancelled, due to tour bus issues, but it might be rescheduled. We were disappointed, but you can't complain a ton when a free show gets cancelled, so we changed our plans.

 We didn't want to give up a night without the kids, so we decided to do a little bit of window shopping, which is way more relaxing without children. We leisurely strolled around, tried on shoes, tested the 3DS, and generally enjoyed each other's company.

Sushi Porn
 It was great. Then, we were finally able to use a gift certificate to the new Japanese restaurant in our area. Which, I should mention, is spectacular. If you ever happen to be in the Bloomsburg area, you should give Arrirang a try. The food was spectacular. It was seriously some of the best sushi I have ever had, and we are a lot farther inland than my other favorite places. The atmosphere of the place is nice too. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

 It's nice to know that after almost 11 years of marriage, we still enjoy just hanging out with each other.

 Also, the concert did get rescheduled, but now it conflicts with work. Oh well. I'll catch them on the next time through.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back to life, or working at getting back there

 So today felt a little bit more like life. We got over to the house, and got some more of the primer work done, so we are starting to get back to where we were on the house before all of this started. It was nice feeling like we were back to accomplishing something and moving forward.

 There is something in this situation, where your life is just so disrupted and feels out of your control, so those days when you can feel like you are in control are quite therapeutic. Someday we'll get where we want to be with it. It feels good to be moving ahead again though.

 Also, one of the other things I am beginning to notice about dealing with cancer is the financial strain. The surprising thing, is it isn't the medical bills. I mean, they are an expense, but they are one of the ones you can work with, since you can usually get on a payment plan for what your insurance doesn't cover.

 It turns out the real strain comes from things that you don't always consider. Things that aren't an issue when you have a Dr's appointment once a month. Copays are rough when each individual appointment in a day is a separate copay. If they want to reform health care so badly, they should set us up with a different system for copays.

 The cost of prescriptions you expect, but unlike most prescriptions, you need them for each treatment, so that adds up too.

 The biggest thing we are realizing, and it is kind of looming with the radiation treatments coming up, is gas costs. Robin driving to her treatments every day for six weeks is going to be rough.

It's going to be nice to be on the other side of this for so many reasons. More than anything, it will be having our life back. Cancer really does effect every aspect of your life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting through

 After this week, Robin will only have two rounds of chemo left, so the end is finally in sight. She is starting to feel better now, starting to get her energy back, so that signals that it's time for the next treatment. That's the roughest thing about the chemo. She starts to feel like herself again, and then goes downhill.

 But we just have to remember that it's only for another six weeks. The surgeries are done, there are only six weeks of chemo left, and then the radiation. Then reconstruction.

 Those milestones are what we have to hold on to. Once we get past this part, it is one big step towards being through with it.

 Another mark on the wall.

 Another step towards my wife being well again. That's the thing I'm looking forward to the most. You really do take your health for granted when you are well. The simple fact of feeling pretty good on most days. Having the energy to do simple things.

 It's really a blow when you don't have that anymore.

 That's why we keep moving forward through all of this.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Precious Normal Days

 The thing I am realizing these days, with Robin lying on the couch, in a quiet moment while the pain has lapsed; I realize that we take for granted all those normal quiet days. We take for granted those days when we sit quietly with one another and enjoy watching our shows on television, or going out to dinner and a movie. Simple things like not being in pain, not being sick, getting a full night's sleep, those are the things we almost expect.

 We had a few days like that a week ago. Robin still had some hair, she was feeling good. We went out with Pete and Leigh a few times, we went on walks with the kids. It was almost like life was a year ago. Before all of this started.

 The only source of hope in all this is that we know that the initial tumor is gone, and any of the places it would be most likely to come back are as well. Add to that all the chemo and you have a pretty high cost, but it's worth it to be healed.

 The hardest part to move past is the knowledge that life won't go back to the way it was before. This is one of those things that don't go away. That's a new feeling. When I deployed, I came home. Most of the time when you get sick, you get better. Most things pass. When you cut something away, though, it doesn't come back.

 It hurts most knowing that I couldn't do anything to protect her from this. As a husband, it's hard to accept that. Once again, at least we only have the last three treatments of Taxol to go through, and then the radiation.
That's what we're holding on to.

Friday, April 8, 2011

"There will be some joint pain"

 Or so the Doctor said. From what I can gather, "some" means writhing in agony. I'd hate to see what it would have been like if he had said substantial pain...

 At least the pain meds Robin has now are taking the edge off enough for her to rest. Taxol seems to be a "wonder drug" but it is a compound derived from yew trees, and dissolved in castor oil. So, all those things together keep it from playing nice with the human body. Unfortunately, since we really don't have much of anything better going as far as treatment, Robin is getting the 'one size fits all' treatment.

 The AC didn't do much for her tumor, and at least the tumor is out now that she is on the Taxol, since I have also read that, while it shrinks tumors, it tends to mobilize the tumor cells in the body. So we have stuff that kinda works, but kinda doesn't, and all of it kills off your cells hoping that you are stronger than your tumor.

 Hopefully, we will make some progress in Cancer research.

 Now it will be just making it through these next few weeks of the Taxol and get to the radiation. At least we can see the end of the road from here. That's a good thing, since I don't know how many days like these we can get through.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

new chemo and patriotism

 Well today Robin started Taxol. It is two 90 minute sessions preceded with an hour drip of antihistamine. So far, it doesn't seem to be giving her as much trouble as the other stuff, and luckily she only has 3 more doses of it. That's good, because it seems the side-effects show up more with saturation. So hopefully, no numbness in her fingers and toes.

 Other than that the visit to the chemo floor wasn't bad. The nurses are always professional and nice, and I got to talk to a WWII Navy Vet while he was receiving his transfusion.

 It still amazes me whenever I talk to vets from WWII and Korea and Vietnam, because they respect what we all have done as much as we respect them. They are the past whose memories we tried to do justice to, and we were their future. I wonder if the Marines and Soldiers and Sailors and Airmen of tomorrow will feel the same about us.

 All in all, today went well. One down, three more to go. Then the radiation.

 We wait and see...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time with family

 Well my brother and his family just went back to Kansas the other day, and we had a good time visiting, all in all. Their van got used for a target by some local hooligans, but you'll have this in a small town. That aside, we did enjoy our time. Time spent with friends and family is always good.

 We recently received a generous gift from some friends, and the compassion of some people is amazing. It is truly humbling, and I am looking forward to the chance to be in the position to be the generous one sometime. It will be nice to get the chance to pay it forward.

 Other than that, we are going through Robin's hair falling out again, which sucks, but at least we are on our way to the end. We are all kind of worried about the taxol, since it is on a four hour drip. Not to mention the handful of steroids she has to take before and after. Just doesn't sound like a solid plan, but it is the one they recommended.

 So that's where we are. Trudging onward. The Kindle is loaded with some classics, and I am going to order some Steinbeck (who I am decidedly lacking in) and get ready for the long days ahead.

 But there is a light on the horizon.

Also, the American version of Being Human is awesome.